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Stockholm area, Sweden

Ängsö National Park

 
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Ängsö National Park
Ängsö National Park

Ängsö is one of Swedens beautiful national parks and only a short distance away from the capital city of Stockholm. It's an idyllic little island located in the beautiful Stockholm archipelago. This little island is known for its beautiful and unique meadows. In June 2006, on a wonderful sunny summer day, I visited this little island filled with flowers. I asked for this daytrip as a birthday present, and I couldn't have wished for anything better! If you love islands, blue sea, rocky shores and a sea of flowers (and you don't mind the absence of restaurants or luxury), then this is your place!

Going to Ängsö

Sim1travels Vaxholm Fortress
Vaxholm Fortress

The 13th of June, a sunny day, blue skies and amazing warm weather. What a perfect day to go out and discover some more of the Stockholm archipelago and the wonderful little island and National Park of Ängsö!

Ängsö is a little gem of an island, hidden away in the beautiful Stockholm archipelago. The way to get here is by ferry, either leaving from Stockholm or from some of the stops along the way. We decided to hop on board in Vaxholm, a nice town located north of Stockholm and a perfect starting point for discovering the Stockholm archipelago.

Sim1travels Vaxholm  Sim1travels Vaxholm

The ferry leaves from the old part of town of Vaxholm, which is rather picturesque with its colourful houses overlooking the blue waters of the archipelago. The lilac was in full bloom this day, hypnotizing the senses with its strong sent and vibrant colour. Yes, the day is perfect! If you are a bit too early for the ferry I really can recommend to make a little stroll around in the small streets. And if you have even more time, pop over to the island which holds Vaxholm Fortress and dominates the skyline from the old town of Vaxholm. Inside the fortress is the Swedish armed forces largest museum and it looks like it is worth while a visit. As I was eager to catch the ferry to Ängsö, I didn't manage to squeeze in a visit to Vaxholm Fortress, but you can read more info about the museum, the opening times and all there is to see at Vaxholm Fortress on their website http://www.vaxholmsfastning.se/

A wonderful time on the boat

It doesn't take long before our ferry arrives. The boat is rather packed with people on the upper deck, as everyone wants to enjoy this gorgeous sunny day to the fullest. The ferry comes from Stockholm and stops at Vaxholm (among other places) to pick up more passengers, including us.

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Enjoying the sunshine on the upperdeck
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Squeezing its way between two islands

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The sea looks so blue; the sun is shining brightly and glistering in the water. The boat moves with a rather high speed, zigzagging around the many islands that the archipelago consists of. The wind is blowing through my hair, sunglasses on, and I am totally enjoying the views, the sunshine and the fresh sea breeze.

Colourful houses decorate the shoreline of the mainland and are bright little dots on the many small islands. At times the boat slows down considerably as it needs to manoeuvre its way through a small passage between two islands. Sometimes it amazes me how we are able to get through these narrow passages, but the ferry doesn't seem to have problems with it at all. The speed increases again and we race over the waters. After 1 1/2 hours on the boat we finally are there: Ängsö!

Part of the Stockholm archipelago

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A small island, just big enough for a house

Ängsö is part of the Stockholm Archipelago; a unique place and one to fall in love with. It consists of 24000 islands and inlets. Little dots of land and rock surrounded by clear blue water. The Archipelago is quite popular among the Swedes and for a good reason. But having said that, it still isn't overcrowded. About 150 of the islands are inhabited all year round, a tiny percentage if you look at the total amount of islands around.

I think the best news is that the Archipelago is easy to visit, with ferries connecting a lot of the islands, some of them offering hostels, hotels and even campgrounds and all in easy reach from Stockholm! This is my first visit to the archipelago, but I absolutely loved it. A next visit will probably be island-hopping, bicycle vacation. A combination of taking the ferry from one island to another, bicycling around on the islands and staying in some of the hostels. I can hardly wait!

Arriving at Ängsö National Park

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Getting off the ferry

The island of Ängsö is small, only 73 hectares, but so worth visiting. Quite a few people get off the ferry, but some stay on board continueing their way to another destination in the archipelago.

While getting of the ferry I almost feel like panicking for a moment, realizing that the peace might be disturbed in a terrible way by all the people coming from the boat wanting to visit Ängsö. And of course they all booked their ticket on the boat for the guided walking tour around the island as well!!! I was looking forward in having a guide telling me more about the flowers and special landscape of the island. But I was probably naive in imagining it would be a group of only 5 to 10 people that would join this tour when we bought the tickets on board the ferry. I certainly wasn't expecting the crowd that were gathering now; it must have been around 50 people and probably even more! Within 2 seconds time we made up our minds to forget about the guided walking tour, but chose to discover the island on our own instead. Without time to waste we hurried off by ourselves and with a sigh of relieve we feel the embrace of the beauty and tranquillity of Ängsö, far away from the crowds.

Read more on page 2 about Ängsö National Park....

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